Skip to main content

About this Show

Erin Burnett Out Front

News/Business. Erin Burnett. (2012)

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 13, U.s. 12, America 9, China 7, Humana 6, Barack Obama 5, Rodriguez 5, United States 4, Libya 3, Faa 3, Fbi 3, Romney 3, Chris Lawrence 3, South Africa 3, John 2, Campbell 2, Iran 2, Grandpa 2, Mitt Romney 2, Cnn 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    Erin Burnett Out Front    News/Business.  
   Erin Burnett.  (2012)  

    October 5, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PDT  

11:00pm
the helm. >> that was a beautiful phrase. i think we should end on that note. you can kill things but still like them. rick santorum. what a perfect way to end the interview. >> you can kill things and "outfront" next, the unemployment rate falls to the lowest levels since president obama took office. we'll tell you why that number matters and why it might not matter that much. plus, the fight over the middle class. mitt romney makes a sudden appeal, but is it going to work? and new questions about the security in libya after terrorist attacks there killed four americans. tonight, the state department rejected a security request. let's go "outfront." "outfront" tonight, the war over work. a new jobless number and renewed claims from both presidential
11:01pm
candidates about what it means. first, president obama saying it is a very, very good sign. >> this morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since i took office. >> the old rate, 8.1%. the new number, 7.8%. that's the best since barack obama took office and it's certainly positive news for his re-election hopes because no president has been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8% since roosevelt in the 1830s. erin herself has made this point many times. >> the unemployment rate may be high, but the the absolute number is not what matters when it comes to getting re-elected. that's about to trend. every president running since world war ii has won when the rate was falling and lost when it was going up. best example, get ready.
11:02pm
>> it's morning again in america. today, more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country's history. with interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980. >> yeah, you know what ad was for. that was ronald reagan, who won the election with a rate of 7.4%. so, the question is, can mr. obama win one like the giper or is the number still bad enough to doom his hopes? well, cue mitt romney. that's what happened today. his team is furiously pointing out how many people are underemployed. last month's household survey found 582,000 of the jobs created involved part time workers who wanted to be full time. plus, no one should forget all the people who have stopped looking for work. romney says this new number or not is not what a recovery looks like. >> the truth is, if the same
11:03pm
share of people were participating in the workforce, today is on the day the president got elected, our unemployment rate would be around 11%. >> "outfront" tonight, ali velshi, ethan and a former staff member for president obama's national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform, daniel mitchell, senior fellow at the cato institute. alan, the numbers sound good. are they? >> i don't care. i'm going to go one further than erin. not only does the absolute number of the unemployment percentage not matter. i don't even think the trend matters. bottom line is there are measures of unemployment much more important. the number of jobs created minus lost. the average hours worked in a week and wages. we measure that every month, but we're so caught up in this percentage rate. guess what? republicans hated the fact it was above 8%. no president gets elected with rates above 8%.
11:04pm
what's the main accusation today? that the books are cooked. >> hold on. we're going to get to it. >> it doesn't matter. >> okay, you cited a lot of stuff there. so all that stuff considered, are we better off now or not? >> yes. >> i would have liked the the numbers we had in 2011 beginning of 2012 when we were growing more jobs per month. 114,000. it's not great. that is not a number barack obama should be crowing about. not a number mitt romney should be accusatory about. barack obama has created more jobs while in office than were lost, but mitt romney points out correctly, they are not the right quality. no, this is not morning in america. it's also not a disaster. >> ethan, jump in here. are you encouraged? >> i am. i totally agree with ali.
11:05pm
mitt romney's been saying that we've been having x month of unemployment above 8%. he can't that anymore. on top of that, the president can say he's created over a million private sector jobs, so he has some new powerful rhetorical arrows that are in his quiver. >> when i saw this today, i thought this fits perfectly into this narrative of a country that's divided because it's a little bit good news. not a lot, and it leaves everybody with room to argue. >> symbolically, it was a victory for the white house to get that unemployment rate under 8% along with just about everybody else. i predicted that would be the key to obama winning re-election, but objectively, if you look at the numbers, there are some real problems with the number of people who have dropped out of the labor force. you're comparing it to reagan, morning in america, you compare the obama recovery to reagan.
11:06pm
obama's behind by $6.9 million jobs and probably more important, it's per capita. disposable income that a lot of social scientists have found is the real key to getting re-elected and that number doesn't look too good for obama. >> you raised a number. how people feel. 67% of registered voters expect conditions will be good a year from now. daniel, what do you think? are they wrong? >> the economy will be better, but it's a question of how much better. let's not forget obama promised if he enacted his so-called stimulus, by today, the unemployment rate would be down to 5.5%. so, something's gone wrong. if you look at the minneapolis federal reserve website, there's an interactive feature that allows you to look at all the
11:07pm
the business cycles since world war ii. it's the worst jobs performance of any president? >> let's move on. go ahead. jump in. >> you know what the problem was with that promise? they should have never made that. promises get people elected. promises get things passed, so now mitt romney says i'm going to create 12 million jobs over four years. 250,000 jobs a month. a ridiculous claim and what does the obama campaign do because morning in america sounds better than evening in america, the obama campaign says there's that's a low bar. we can do that, too. >> briefly here, you mentioned the idea of a conspiracy theory. this is the white house trying to mix it up. you don't buy that at all. >> not a little bit. bureau of labor statistics is a geeky, wonky organization. i love their website. they just, they're data geeks.
11:08pm
i spoke to the labor secretary again to be reassured that even she doesn't see them until the morning of. sometimes, the president's economic adviser gets them the night before because if it's a really bad number, that person can go to the president and say we need to inform the federal reserve chief, but generally speaking, that is not the case. this is, look, i suppose anything's possible. it could even be a calculation error, but it is remarkable that the minute the numbers turn against conservatives, everybody's up in arms saying the books are cooked. >> ethan, you wrote in the spring that what we need the catch up growth. catch up growth. not merely maintenance growth. this is is undeniably good news. we're making progress. is this catch up growth? >> it is. and first, i want to agree and first, i want to agree with
11:09pm
ali and say that these guys are just great. topnotch. besides that, you're right. we need catch up growth. if you look at population growth, that means we need to create about 100,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population. by contrast, if we want to get back to full employment in three years, we need to create about 330,000 jobs a month, so it's clear we're growing faster than population is, which means we're getting better. but you can see the difference there. it's as ali said, it's a slow recovery. it's getter better, but very slow. >> thanks so much for being with us tonight. still to come, mitt romney is making a move for the middle class, but it comes just a month before the election, so why is he doing it now and will it work at this point? plus, america blames soda and junk for seats dislodging mid flight. i mean american airlines. does that add up? and the outbreak of meningitis spreads across the u.s. with new cases and new concerns tonight
11:10pm
in "outfront" look at how this got passed medical safety measures. stay with us. ♪ [ male announcer ] did you know that the single cap of gain gives as much freshness as a whole bottle of that other stuff? ♪ that's more than enough freshness to go around... unless you happen to be this guy. [ sniffing ] [ male announcer ] you don't want to be this guy. trust me. get irresistibly fresh with gain. gain originals now available with clean boost. with 20% more cleaning power. gain originals now available with clean boost. the wheels of progress. seems they haven't been moving much lately. but things are starting to turn around because of business people like you.
11:11pm
and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together.
11:12pm
with thermacare heatwraps. how can you get back pain relief that lasts up to 16 hours? thermacare works differently. it's the only wrap with patented heat cells that penetrate deep to relax, soothe, and unlock tight muscles. for up to 16 hours of relief... try thermacare. so, whare we up here? because farmers offers a new-roof discount? [ thudding ] oh, boy. yep. and it's an agent's job to help people find new ways to save. there's some cool stuff up here. there sure is. [ man ] look what i found. it's a fiddler on the roof. ♪ [ up-tempo country ] what are the chances? [ announcer ] we are insurance. ♪ we are farmers bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
11:13pm
"outfront," mitt romney is trying to make off with the middle class. romney made another big play for that all important voting block. >> people in the middle class have been squeezed, buried as the vice president said. >> last night on fox news, romney made an unexpected plea to the same voters, apologizing
11:14pm
for the leaked comment about 47% of americans. >> in this case, i said something that's completely wrong and i absolutely believe however that my life has shown that i care about 100%. >> if you listen to how many times he's said middle class over the last few days, it looks like a frontal assault. joining us now -- serving as communications director for tim pawlenty's presidential campaign. ann marie, let me get to this apology. this was 17 days ago, this tape came out. why did he apologize now? >> he was asked the question. he apologized. there's little daylight between what he said in elegant and if he apologizes and his policies are going to be for 100% of americans. not 47%. so look, i think he's moved past this.
11:15pm
if we want to talk about inelegant comments, we can talk about president obama saying he wants to redistribute -- >> hold on a second, john. jump in here for a minute. let me talk about this fight for the middle class here because both candidates want it, but it really seemed in the past few days since the debate, that mitt romney lit up to say it's working for barack obama, i'm going to make it work for me. >> would he seriously borrow a position from someone else? >> they want it because they need it. you don't get elected unless you appeal to moderates an the middle class. that's why the 47% comment hurt so much. that's why the poll numbers started breaking hard against him when it started really resonating through the heart
11:16pm
land. he had a great debate. he's got an opportunity to do that. >> so, he should just clear that off the table. >> some of those problems are baked in his cake. >> jamal, jump in here. if you're a democrat in this country, not thrilled to see him suddenly approaching so hard in this area, but barack obama was kind of playing him a little bit, but seriously, i'm not sure if mitt romney may have said middle class more than obama. >> you know, what john just said is absolutely right. he had to get here. this is where american elections are fought, in the middle, the general election. what i don't understand is why he waited so long to do it. i don't why he didn't come out immediately after the republican primary, maybe even take on some of the tax loopholes, he says name a couple of them to prove he's going to stay on the side of the middle class. to find his entire life and now he's playing catch up. i'm not sure he has enough time.
11:17pm
>> he's got a challenging -- pew survey found 85% of votes said it's more difficult now to maintain a standard of living and a "usa today" gallup poll before the debate said 53% think president obama will do better for them than mitt romney at 43%. how does he overcome that? >> i think wednesday night hit the restart button. they are ready to go. about a month to talk about his plan and i think what you saw on wednesday night, it wasn't the 30 second spots being defined by barack obama. it was mitt romney speaking unfiltered to voters for 90 seconds. he was in their living rim and they liked what they heard.
11:18pm
>> jamal, shoot straight with me on this. if i'm a democrat, sitting around watching this, mitt romney connected wednesday night. it has got to make you little bit nervous to say this is a magic bullet that barack obama has. now, he has. doesn't this make you a little edit twitchy? >> oh, it makes a lot of people twitchy. i wrote a column about this. democrats have been getting a little confidence, maybe smug, that the poll mbers continue away from mitt romney. knock on one more door, ring one more phone, to try to turn voters out, but ultimately, the president, by the way, barack obama's one of the most competitive people we've seen in american politics. we will not be sitting here after the second debate having this conversation. >> jamal's looking for a silver lining. that's what's shocking. the president didn't show up as a competitor. he barely showed up. american elections, win over moderate and middle class. >> four more weeks of it. thanks for being here. ahead, china claims they turned
11:19pm
the tables on hollywood by premiering the number one movie of the weekend, but does that add up? and we take you "outfront" to the coast of iran. >> i'm chris lawrence in the persian gulf and tonight, we're going to take you out on the high seas to see what's being done to -- to mine this. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it! now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla? this is great!
11:20pm
[ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh! you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you, to listen and understand what's important to you. it's how we help you choose the right humana medicare plan for you. because when your medicare is taken care of, you can spend more time sharing your passions. wow. [ giggles ] [ male announcer ] with the people who matter most. i love you grandpa! i love you grandma! now you're a real fisherman. [ male announcer ] humana.
11:21pm
11:22pm
11:23pm
our third story "outfront," iran refuses to budge despite some talk about possibly suspended some parts of its nuclear program. officials tell cnn tonight, the iranians don't appear to be conceding any real ground. sent the iranian currency plunging, as much 40%. that has sparked angry protests. the u.s. is stepping up pressure with a show of military force in the persian gulf. this is a tense and exciting situation in many ways because of the possibilities out there. chris lawrence is "outfront." >> imminent surface threat.
11:24pm
>> reporter: if fighting breaks out with iran in the persian gulf, it will look a lot like this drill. us navy sailors making split second decisions on whether to fight. >> i ask, would you shoot? knowing you're responsible for the lives of everybody on board? that's a tough one. if you get it right, congratulations. >> reporter: but the biggest battles could be fought under water. >> no one goes out unless someone has put mines in the water. >> reporter: a $10,000 mine could cripple a $10 million cargo ship. to understand how to defeat these explosives, you've got to go to the disputed waters, where the latest technology is being deployed. we lead on a special chopper that can destroy mines. one of several to keep power in the area.
11:25pm
it drops an acoustic line into the gulf, which mimics the sound of a real ship to trick the mine into detonating. these are the open seas, but the iranian territorial waters are less than 70 miles away. mining the entire strait of hormuz would take thousands of sets of mines and weeks they probably don't have. diving teams still go down to disable explosives, but now, they're being manned by under water vehicles. this prototype is being tested internationally for the first time. in other drones could dive 2,000 feet to stay under water for days. some lay on top of mines that can be remotely detonated once the mine leaves. american mine sweeping ships troll these waters, dragging thick magnetic tables designed to set off mines.
11:26pm
>> you would definitely feel it. >> reporter: the warrior has a wooden hull so it wouldn't activate some mines like a steel ship would, but u.s. crew men don't want to destroy every explosive. >> one of the things we try to do is look at a mine. look at its physical characteristics. >> some want to them get their hands on, examine its size, shape and weight to find out who made it. >> obviously, that's an important piece of the puzzle. >> reporter: chris lawrence, cnn, in the persian gulf. >> fascinating out there. next, why did the state department deny a security request from the u.s. embassy in libya and an outbreak of meningitis is spreading. tonight, we're learning about the company at the center of the outbreak and we'll tell you all about it. stay with us. now, that's what i call a test drive.
11:27pm
11:28pm
silverado! the most dependable, longest lasting, full-size pickups on the road. so, what do you think? [ engine revs ] i'll take it. [ male announcer ] it's chevy truck month. now during chevy truck month, get 0% apr financing for 60 months or trade up to get the 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $8,000. hurry in before they're all gone! by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy,
11:29pm
and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
11:30pm
welcome back to the second half of "outfront," we start the second half of our show with stories we care about. we have breaking news, two law enforcement officials tell cnn the death of a border patrol agent this week was caused by
11:31pm
friendly fire. the fbi said in a statement, there are strong preliminary indications that the death of nicholas ivy was the result of -- the injured agent was released from the hospital on wednesday. a radical islamist cleric is on the way to the united states after losing his latest and final appeal to avoid that fate. judge john thomas said the extradition may proceed immediately. some of the supporters clashed with police outside of the high court. he faces 11 charges in the united states, including conspiring in 1999 to set up an islam jihad training camp in oregon. rebel fighters shot down a helicopter over the the damascus country side. this video supposedly shows.
11:32pm
cnn cannot verify its authenticity. another opposition group known as the local coordination committees for syria says 110 were killed by syrian forces across the country just today. former university of tennessee basketball coach pat summitt says she was not forced out of her job after being diagnosed with dementia. she says anyone who knows me knows that any such effort would have been met with resistance -- as the head coach of the lady vols. it has been 428 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? the federal deficit has hit $1.1 trillion now for fiscal 2012. this is the fourth year in a row.
11:33pm
that won't help us, that's for sure. our fourth story, developing story, two suspects from tunisia are being weed if turkey tonight in connection with the murders of chris stevens and three other americans. jill daugherty has been digging into the story and is with us tonight. >> well, on this particular incident, we don't know a whole lot of detail, but we know those two men, they are being questioned in turkey. and the understanding is that they were somehow allegedly tied to the attack in libya. which killed the ambassador. now, they were on the watch list that the u.s. compiled. that was given to the turks and the turks picked them up, apparently came into the country this week and the fbi is hoping they will have some type of access to them. >> questioned them already, but would like to have a chance to.
11:34pm
>> right. >> there was also other development today in this investigation. this e-mail between the state department and the team benghazi surfaced. what do we know about that? >> well, this is part of, you know there are several investigations ongoing into the death of the ambassador and the three other americans. and how it happened. the charge is that the state department allegedly did not do enough. so in that context, this is an e-mail that is coming from a security support team. now, those who special forces have been deployed all over the world. continuing the use of a d.c. plane. now, they wanted that to transport their own personnel and diplomatic business. but the state department turned them down. now, the state department explains that by saying by that time, they had commercial
11:35pm
flights available. so, there was no longer any need. so, they turned them down, but they say it did not affect the response to the attack that killed the ambassador and the three other americans and that also when they went to take americans out of the country, after that attack, they also transported them on a chartered aircraft, so this is part of these three investigations. the fbi has it own, state department has one and congress has one and state says they are going to cooperate fully. >> i'm sure that you'll be keeping track of all of them. the centers of disease control have now connected an additional 12 cases of meningitis to a contaminated steroid injection most cases are in tennessee. meningitis is an inflammation of
11:36pm
the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. the shots were traced to a compounding pharmacy in massachusetts. there are several thousand of these compounding pharmacies in the country. they are not subject to the same regulations as the big drug companies. i spoke with dr. gupta and asked him what compounded pharmaceuticals are. >> well, you know, a lot of these manufactures who create these medications, in this case, an injectable steroid, but it may be in large amounts and it will say a hospital or clinic says i want this medication, but in a different dose or smaller vials. that's where a compounding facility comes into play. they're not manufacturing the medication. that's critical. the fda doesn't have authority over them, the state pharmacy boards do. >> so, no fda regulation of
11:37pm
these facilities. >> right. we asked about that, the fda told us look, we've blood -- been trying to get oversight over these since the early 1990s. but this particular facility, the new england compounding center, they distribute to the entire country. >> so, a lot of people might go to their own pharmacist and they might compound something for them individually, but in this case, if this is going across the country, does everybody who receives this even know that it's been compounded somewhere? or would they think it's a regular product or what? >> i think the patients don't know and i think a lot of the clinic, the doctors, even the people that work in the hospitals probably don't know either. as a surgeon, i use this type of medication for back pain. typically, we'll is ask for a certain cc. certain size vial of the
11:38pm
medication. but we don't know for instance if it's gone to a compounding facility in between us and the manufacturer. >> when we talk about these cases of meningitis cropping up in different places, people don't know. this could happen some time after they got the injection. what should they be looking for? >> up to 28 days. that's an important point because it made this more challenging. fungal meningitis is a pretty rare thing. the symptoms can be different from bacterial. mild stroke like symptoms, numberness or weakness. pain near the injection site, but the typical symptoms are inflammation around the spinal cord and brain, so people will have -- profound headaches. an aversion -- as a result of these types of symptoms if they
11:39pm
progress untreated. >> is there anything people can really do about? could you say to your doctor, is this from a compounding facility? >> in this case, it was clear cut that the contamination occurred at the compounding facility. they've identified obviously which lots were contaminated. they've got to make sure no one gets more of these injections. they have to identify the patients who have and make sure they get treated, but going forward, i think to your point, this is going to be a little bit of a wake up call. there's been a drum beat about this issue in the past. they could actually see the mold, which is what the fungus is. this is a ear cut contamination. i think a lot of people are going to be paying a lot of attention. >> sanjay, thanks. >> thanks.
11:40pm
coming up next, american airlines is improperly blaming spilled soda for seats coming loose on its planes. american protesters take to the streets of pakistan, but it's the u.s. policies and he was a rock god for 30 years and he never knew it. the story of an unlikely music legend, still to come. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it!
11:41pm
now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla?
11:42pm
this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh! you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you, to listen and understand what's important to you. it's how we help you choose the right humana medicare plan for you. because when your medicare is taken care of, you can spend more time sharing your passions. wow. [ giggles ] [ male announcer ] with the people who matter most. i love you grandpa! i love you grandma! now you're a real fisherman. [ male announcer ] humana. this single scoop of gain gives more freshness than a whole box of this other stuff...
11:43pm
and that much freshness is gonna take some getting used to... [ sniffing ] ahh. mmm! [ male announcer ] yep, it's amazing what a single scoop of gain freshness can do. and now get even more gain at a new lower price! ♪ at a new lower price! one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now.
11:44pm
china desperately wants to get into the movie business. that's why chinese film companies have helped financed new american movies over the
11:45pm
past few years, including the 2010 remake of carat e kid and now, a movie where china is the world's super power. according to executives, last weekend, it earned $20 million at the u.s. box office and another 25 million at the chinese box office. these are very significant numbers because it marks the very first time an american movie opened to a bigger box office in the country other than the united states. or did it? that brings us to tonight's number. 7 million. that's how much money the movie actually earned at the chinese box office last weekend. it was announced today that when some of the theatres in china were calculating their totals, they mixed up the currency of china with the dollar and that made the total seem a lot bigger than it was, so not only did the movie earn less than the 25 million reported, it might not have even been the number one film in that country. so while china might be a super
11:46pm
power in the movies, they're still not a super power at the movies. we're back with tonight's outer circle where we reach out to our sources all around the world. first, pakistan, where a group of american women dressed in pink. i asked him to explain what the group is trying to accomplish. >> reporter: it's not clear if code pink is going to make it to the tribal region, but they say they're going to head that way until someone stops them. the protest is against u.s. drone strike. they say u.s. drone strikes are killing too many civilians and they're not scaring militants according to code pink. they are creating more. >> we are creating our own enemies, obviously, and this is one of the best tools for recruitment for the bad guys.
11:47pm
>> when our government is doing something that's wrong, it's up to us as citizens to stand up. >> it is extremely rare for americans to -- protest against the u.s. government, but it's happening in islamabad. to be re-elected this sunday, paula newton is in caracas and i asked her what the atmosphere was like. >> reporter: there's a lot of apprehension here leading up to these elections on the weekend. it doesn't matter if you support the opposition or the government. many fear that this election race could be so close that one or the other party may not accept the eventual outcome. chavez himself has hinted that perhaps the opposition will cause trouble if the election is close and they lose. he's being mischievous in saying that. saying we have no intention of
11:48pm
causing any trouble. as i said, closely contested election. more so than the last 14 years. gunk. american airlines now says messy passengers are to blame for seats that came loose on at least three recent flights. the airline claims spilled soda and coffee gunked up a seat locking mechanism over time. the incidents forced the airline to take 48 boeing 757 jets out of commission for repairs. the airline had initially said improperly installed saddle clamps were causing the problem. what's behind this explanation and does it all add up? william mcgee is the author of "intentional passengers, the airlines dangerous descent and how to reclaim our skies." what's the deal? do you buy this? >> no. i think most people in the industry think the gunk story is bunk.
11:49pm
>> i like that. what they're saying is all this junk got down into the little clip things on the seats and when they put the seats in and clamped them down, it interfered with the clamping mechanism or something like that. right? >> the bottom line is we see millions of flights in the united states every year. all kinds of things are spilled in the cabins of airplanes. speak to flight attendants about that. but the bottom line is, these seats need to be cleaned out and the mechanisms need to be cleaned out -- >> even if a thing like this is locking pin we're seeing, presumably i guess it could be messed up by gunk but they're serving drinks on every airplane. >> of course. i think a fair question to ask is why did we see this on the same airline on the same aircraft type three times within five days. clearly, this is not a problem that we're seeing on other airplanes on other airlines. >> even if that is the explanation that's no excuse, right? >> of course not. the bottom line is american airlines has a responsibility to make sure their aircraft are well maintained and the faa has an even bigger responsibility to
11:50pm
make sure america is doing it properly. what this is really about is the larger picture and that is outsourcing of maintenance. we have a real crisis going on in the united states right now. >> talk to me a little about that, particularly in regard to american right now. >> well, up until recently, american was the last airline in the united states that was not outsourcing maintenance. but now of course, it's in bankruptcy reorganization, it's probably going to be acquired by us airways, it has new management and just even as we speak, just a few hours ago, 450 more mechanics were laid off at their facility in tulsa. that's the last facility in america. >> why is that a problem? all sorts of businesses outsource things. why can't you just find a good company, it's okay? >> well, it's the people that are doing the work. basically, in many cases the airplanes are going outside the united states to developing countries, we were just talking about china, singapore, el salvador, mexico. in many cases, believe it or not, the mechanics are not licensed and believe it or not, the faa allows that.
11:51pm
in many cases, the standards are different. here in the united states, if you're an airline mechanic working for an airline in house, you have to go through drug screening, alcohol screening, i went through it when i worked in the airline industry. you have to go through a security background check. these things are being waived increasingly. >> one quick question before we go. if all the other companies are doing it any way, all the other companies aren't having this problem, are they? they don't have seats -- >> we're seeing very troubling signs and they're all detailed in the book. in fact, safety is eroding and i spoke to dozens of front line faa inspectors who say they are not able to get to the places where the work is. >> thanks for telling us all about it. we'll see what happens. up next, he thought he was a musician without a professional career. little did he know, he was a rock star on the other side of the planet.
11:52pm
11:53pm
11:54pm
11:55pm
well, with the debate and unemployment and everything else, you might have found it to be a rough week to get through. we wanted to leave you with a story we found absolutely enchanting to maybe make your weekend. imagine if you're an average guy, working day in and day out
11:56pm
to support your family, going to and from the job. you think nothing of it. when you were younger, though, you recorded a couple of albums but they didn't go very far by u.s. standards. you pretty much forgot about them. but little did you know, those forgotten records became the sound track of a movement thousands of miles away in south africa. that is exactly what happened to a detroit man. he was a rock star and he didn't even know it. poppy harlow is out front with his amazing story. >> we thought he was like the inner city poet. he was this wandering spirit around the city. >> reporter: a dylan-esque detroit native who tried his hand at rock history in the '70s. ♪ >> we walked in and heard the songs he was singing, what he was writing.
11:57pm
we had to record him. we had to make a deal. he's great. this is it. >> reporter: but it wasn't. rodriguez's albums flopped in the u.s. somehow, though, his first album, "cold fact" made it halfway around the world and became a massive hit. >> in south africa he was the pantheon of rock gods. >> to us it was one of the most famous records of all time. >> reporter: the sound track of the anti-apartheid movement. but at home in detroit, rodriguez had no idea. he had given up his music career. that was four decades ago. you used to play right across the street there, right? >> i played in a lot of places in detroit. >> reporter: unaware of his fame abroad and getting no royalties, rodriguez lived on little, raising his daugers doing demolition work. >> i'm not a stranger to hard work. >> reporter: he made failed bids for mayor, city council and state rep. you call yourself a musical
11:58pm
political. >> musical political, yeah. i don't see how anyone can't be. >> reporter: then at 57, he was rediscovered by a south african music journalist and record store owner, who found clues in his lyrics. >> we found him! >> reporter: they brought rodriguez to south africa and he played to thousands of adoring fans. >> thanks for keeping me alive. >> he's onstage and the crowd is just going wild and they're singing and they're crying. >> reporter: it brings you to tears to see something like that happen to someone. >> yeah. >> well, it was epic. >> reporter: do you not think that your story is exceptional beyond belief? >> it's pretty wild, the story. i'm a lucky man to be so fortunate at this late date. >> this is a true cinderella story. >> reporter: this film maker tells it in his documentary, "searching for sugar man." >> a man who lives his whole
11:59pm
life in detroit, working as a construction worker, really hard manual labor, without knowing that at the very same time he's more famous than elvis presley in another part of the world. i thought it was the most beautiful story i ever heard in my life. >> reporter: a beautiful story, but also a mystery. where were all the royalties? >> i don't know. i don't know. i do think it's an important question because he didn't get royalties. >> reporter: asked if he feels ripped off -- >> no, not in that sense of it and hate is too strong an emotion to waste on someone you don't like, you know? >> reporter: do you want the fame and the fortune? >> fame is fleeting. ♪ hey baby what's your hurry >> reporter: now 70, rodriguez may finally get his due. do you ever pinch yourself and